Croquet Dress FLIP

Did you all know I’m in a sewing competition this week?  Over at Frances Suzanne, I joined three great bloggers / sewists and sewed my version of the Oliver and S Croquet Dress.  When Ashley and Emily asked me to compete, I knew I was going to say yes right away, but I also had this little butterfly feeling in my stomach!  And then I saw that I would be competing against a friend of mine.  Oh this is fun, but man this is hard.

croquet dress knit

Want to hear about this dress?  Immediately when I signed up to sew, the Croquet dress was begging to have embroidery added to it.  But I thought that wouldn’t be enough FLIP, so I made a few other changes.  My girl (who is just a month shy of 10) loves anything that is made out of knit fabric.  So I knew that I would have to use some knit fabric.  I had this organic cotton knit fabric in my stash…just a yard of it and it was just the right amount.  I cut out her size, size 8.  The front yoke and shoulder pieces were cut out just as the pattern is.  When it came time to cut the rest of the dress, I decided I just wanted an a line dress.  I widened the top dress piece (pattern piece 7) and added an inch of width at the fold line.  I also extended this piece down so that the dress would hit at my daughter’s knees.

knit croquet dress

I changed the sleeve pieces, thinking that I would love to have cap sleeves.  Things aligned perfectly when Dana released her newest pattern, the first day dress.  I just snatched the cap sleeve piece from that pattern, cut two out, just like in the first day dress pattern and got to sewing.  I lined the armhole of the dress with a piece of knit fabric, one inch wide.

croquet dress with embroidery

Last change was the gathering.  I prefer pleats to gathers, so I just made a simple inverted box pleat.  And then I did a bit of hand embroidery along the front yoke and shoulder pieces.  I’m entirely new to this embroidery thing, but found out I love it!  It’s just like doodling with a needle and thread.  I wanted this white embroidery to pop on the dark blue fabric, so I threaded my needle each time with three strands of embroider floss.  I would just free hand draw my design with a white chalk pencil and got to sewing.  The neckline is stitched with a blanket stitch and all of those flowers were created with this tutorial.  A few long car rides for summer trips helped me finish up all the embroidery on this dress!

Croquet Dress

When my girl put on her dress a couple Sundays ago, her first comment was “this is so comfortable”.  Translation…she’s going to be wearing this one a lot.  This is by far my favorite thing I have made for my girl!  The more I sew, the more I realize I love to take my time on a project, thinking about all of the details.  I sew because I enjoy it, and this project had me slowing down and enjoying the whole process.  Thanks Ashley and Emily for having me FLIP the Croquet Dress!

knit croquet dress with embroidery

So the competition part…you can head on over to Frances Suzanne and cast your vote.  You don’t have to vote for me…find your favorite version of the Croquet Dress and vote!  Okay, now I’m a bit nervous!  I might just have to stay away from my computer all weekend while the voting is going on!  Gah!

The Hudson Pant

Have you guys been finding time to sew this summer?  Summer is so wildly busy, I have barely touched my machine.  Good thing I’ve had a great pile of projects yet to be posted, one of which was the Hudson Pant.  Back when I was showing you all of my Me Made May selfies, I noted that I definitely needed to sew a few more lounge wear type of clothes.  Well Kelli answered that call with her pattern for the Hudson Pant.  This pattern is great!

true bias hudson pant pattern

Kelli was so kind to let me test this pattern out, and this pattern is flawless.  I’m showing you pictures here from my test version, well my second test version.  Whenever I sew myself a pair of shorts/pants, I always make a muslin first.  I never know if I have measured myself correctly, or if something is going to fit uncomfortably.  But these pants were perfect.  After sewing up a quick pair in thrifted fabric, I dove into my expensive fabric (that I’m showing you here; you don’t want to see what my thrifted fabric looked like, definitely not wearable!)  Kelli mentions in her pattern to use a stable knit.  I went to the Sewing Studio in Orlando asking for advice and they lead me directly to their cotton spandex fabric.  I love this store because the workers know what they are talking about when it comes to fabric!  The knowledgeable sales lady told me this is what leggings are made out of.  Cotton spandex will stretch, but not stretch out.  It holds it’s shape, so that after wearing your pants for a few hours, they don’t become baggy and droopy.  Perfect!

hudson pant pattern

I wanted a contrast waistband and pocket detail, but didn’t have any other fabric options other than black.  So I cut up an old t shirt and it worked perfectly!  These pants are so comfy, and have gotten so much wear!  We just got back from a week at the beach and I wore my Hudson Pants almost daily!  Since this pair of pants was made from the test version of the pattern, Kelli made just a few pattern changes I wanted to point out.  The contrast pocket detail is cut to sit a little closer to the pant leg now, and the calves are cut a little less narrow.  Kelli thought of every little detail with this pattern!

hudson pant

I can’t wait to sew myself another pair of Hudson Pants!  I definitely want to try shortening the pattern, chopping it off  and making them into shorts!  And the cropped version, like Kristin has made is also on my to sew list.  I need to find more sewing time!

Retro Rucksack

One of the fun things about blogging is getting to meet new people.  It’s amazing how much talent is hidden out there.  Have you all heard of Sara from Radiant Home Studio?  She has a pdf bag pattern business and her bags are pretty great.


I was asked by Sara to sew up her Retro Rucksack pattern and I happily said yes.  This bag is full of amazing details.  The more I sew, the more I have learned that details are what make sewing go from homemade to looking store bought.  I love a pattern that is full of details, and this pattern is just that!

retro rucksack pattern

I’m going to warn you, when you are sewing a pattern full of details, like the Retro Rucksack, it’s not a quick sew.  But that is definitely not a bad thing.  I sew because I love to, not because I want to get to a finished product as fast as I can.  So this pattern took me a bit of time and had me enjoying the process.

retro rucksack bag

Want to know what I used to sew this bag up?  A rug, a $3 ikea rug.  Every time I go to ikea I see these signe rugs and immediately think of a bag.  Inspiration comes in the weirdest places.  The rest of the fabric is thrifted home dec fabric.  It is super thick, almost as thick as the rug.  And the lining (that I forgot to photograph) is leftover fabric from this great jacket (another pattern full of details).

retro rucksack stripes

I have a beast of a sewing machine that does great at sewing through thick fabric.  There were a few times, especially when I was asking my machine to sew through several layers of the rug, that it was angry with me.  But patience and perseverance brought us to this end product that I love!

rug retro rucksack retro rucksack buckle

Look at all these details.  There are side pockets, that are a little bit wider at the top, making them easier to put things in.  There’s a zipper pocket on the inside.  The buckles, love these two buckles.  A zip top opening.  The straps on the bag that have functioning sliders.  I love these details!  And I love my new bag!

retro rucksack back

And did you see that picture up there that shows the rucksack could be worn on my back or on my shoulder!  I love this bag (have I said that yet?)

retro rucksack retro rucksack sewing pattern

Want to take a look at some more Retro Rucksack inspiration?  Sara has a whole line up of great ladies sewing this pattern this week.

rug rucksack


Retro Rucksack Inspiration Tour:

Monday, July 14th

Radiant Home Studio || Sweeter Than Cupcakes

Tuesday, July 15th

Quarter Incher || Dandelion Drift

Wednesday, July 16th

Glitter + Wit || EmmylouBeeDoo

Thursday, July 17th

Casa Crafty || Behind the Hedgerow

Friday, July 18th

SewVery || Raspberry Sunshine

Saturday, July 19th

Mia’s Creations || Made By Sara

Retro Rucksack Inspiration Tour | Radiant Home Studio

Sara kindly provided the pattern for me to sew, but all opinions are 100% my own!

Juba Shorts

Happy Monday morning guys!  Did you all have a good long weekend?  We have been busy, busy, busy!  Summer fun kind of busy though!  Today I’m over at Imagine Gnats with Rachael’s newest pattern, the Juba Shorts.  I have a fun tutorial for you on how to add these pockets with a little trim!

juba Shorts and Pockets

Josh says my fabric is a little crazy on these shorts, but I love them!  Vintage fabric, vintage trim, what’s not to love!  Come take a look!

First Day Dress :: A Giveaway CLOSED

First Day Dress Peplum Top

Dana from Dana Made It has a new pattern out!  Have you sewn her patterns before?  They are unique for many ways, but my favorite is her instructions.  Her instructions are like she is sitting right next to you having a conversation with you.  Kind of neat and extremely helpful.  Because of this little conversation that Dana has, it makes her patterns extremely beginner friendly.  If you are new to sewing or new to pdf patterns, Dana exemplifies the benefits of buying indie patterns.

First Day Dress

Her new pattern is the First Day Dress.  It has MANY options.  Take a look at her site and all of the different styles she has sewn up with this one pattern.

First Day Dress Peplum

I helped Dana test out this pattern and therefore received this pattern for free.  But all opinions are 100% true.

These pictures show my test version of the pattern.  Dana has since widened the neck a bit for the larger sizes.  The only other change I will make to the pattern next time is to lower the front neckline a bit, and I definitely want to try this one out in knit fabric!

First Day Dress Made

Dana has kindly offered two First Day Dress patterns for me to giveaway.

Giveaway Details:

  • leave a comment on this post
  • one entry per person
  • two winners will be picked at random
  • giveaway closes Wednesday July 9 at 10 pm EST

UPDATE:: This giveaway is now CLOSED

Pineapple Pincushion

pineapple pincushion

Okay, so I’ve had these pictures on my computer for over a month now, and thought maybe I should finally share them with you!  For mother’s day, I made my mom a pincushion.  That doesn’t sound too exciting, but that’s one of the bonds my mom and I have.  Did I ever tell you all that she’s the one who taught me to sew?  I know I learned when I was young, but I don’t really remember sewing things until I was in high school.  I asked my mom to help me sew one of my formal dresses.  And then I also had this crazy idea to make a quilt.  That was before rotary cutters were around, so I hand cut out a ton of squares out of plaid fabric, and eventually didn’t even make the quilt.

pineapple pincushion

My mom is a pretty amazing lady.  If you just want to look at pretty pincushion pictures, skip all these words, but I want to tell you a little of my mom’s story.  My mom grew up being the oldest of three.  She learned a lot of her hard work and drive and love for God from her grandmother (who also happened to be the woman who taught my mom to sew).  My mom graduated high school a very smart girl.  She married my dad at 18 and with her drive, went to college, on a scholarship.  My dad joined the military and they moved away from town.  My parents decided it was best to put my dad’s college education first so my mom stopped her studies while my dad finished his.  Then she picked right back up.  At the time my mom went to college, women studied to become nurses or teachers.  Remember my mom was very smart, so she became frustrated in her math classes thinking they were too easy.  She went and talked to the college guidance counselor and he had a look at her transcripts.  He noted that she actually was really good at math.  He asked her if she might be interested in studying engineering, so she gave it a try.  When it was time to pick what field of engineering, she remembered her dad always tinkered with radios and electronics, but my mom was never allowed to touch them.  So she became an electrical engineer.  My mom continued on with her studies until eventually she started working on her PhD.  At this time we were living in Hawaii.  When it was time for her to do her dissertation, we had moved away from Hawaii to Florida.  So she stopped working towards her PhD and entered the work field.  She now designs graphics chips for computers at a great company.  My mom amazes me for so many reasons.  Her drive and focus is such an inspiration.  She has worked so hard to become the person she is today.  I think she is the first on her side of the family to go to college, and in my mom’s true fashion, she didn’t just go to college, she went as far as possible in college.  More amazing to me than her drive and focus is her love an generosity.  She is the woman who would give the shoes she is wearing to you.  My mom has done so much for me and I am so thankful that I get to call her my mom!  Cheesy, I know, but it’s true!

pineapple pincushion

Okay, the pincushion.  Here are the details.  It’s a free pattern from here.  And the fabric, you might be getting tired of this, but again it’s a combo of Arizona prints, Palos Verdes, Cloud 9, and little bit of Botanics mixed in there.

pineapple pincushion

I’d love to hear if you have any great stories about your mom!

This entry was posted in Sewing.

Snappy Mani Pouch

snappy mani wallet

The other weekend, Sweet Pea was invited to a friend’s birthday party.  The friend was turning 11, which turned out to be a great excuse for me to sew Anna‘s Snappy Mani pouch (free pattern by Noodlehead).

snappy mani wallet

I made just a couple changes.  The nail polish we picked out was a little bit larger than the cute square bottles that were pictured.  So I made the elastic cased pocket just a little bit bigger (I cut it 1/2 inch taller than instructed) and only sewed two dividing lines so I could end up with three pockets.

snappy mani wallet

I also added a lot of quilting.  This was my first time doing matchstick quilting and I love the effect!

snappy mani wallet

Oh, the fabrics…most of the prints are Ariznona by April Rhodes.  Except the triangles, that’s from the Palos Verdes line for Cloud 9 fabrics.  I love how these prints pair together.  And the solids are all Robert Kaufman Kona cottons.

Snappy mani Wallet Pattern

The gift was loved by the 11 year old, and has me itching to make many, many more!

This entry was posted in Sewing.

Union St. Tee

union street tee

A few weeks ago Adrianna from Hey June patterns asked if I would like to be part of her pattern tour for her newest pattern, the union street tee.  Umm….yup….definitely interested!  I couldn’t say yest fast enough.  I made a couple of v neck t shirts right away and loved them.  The first I made was out of a floral polyester something or other knit fabric from Jo Ann’s.  I fell in love with this shirt!  The second I made was out of 100% cotton knit from Michael Levine fabrics (found here).  This fabric is absolutely perfect!  I made a few changes to the pattern for the polka dotted one (not that the pattern needed changes, I just like to try new things).  I added cuffs (like Adrianna did) and a narrower piece of fabric to finish off the neck opening.

union street tee

After these changes a light bulb went off in my head!  This pattern would be perfect to make into a rash guard.  I grew up around the water and in the sun all the time.  All of this sun time has taken it’s toll on my skin.  About five years ago, I had my first skin cancer removed, nothing scary, but scary enough that it was skin cancer.  I have since had one more spot removed.  That means that I cover up all of the time in the sun.  I’m that girl at the beach sporting a rash guard and a big floppy hat!  Hi…saving my money (and my skin) so I don’t have to pay the dermatologist later!

union street tee

I’ve always thought that a rash guard, with a built in shelf bra would be the greatest.  That way I wouldn’t have to wear a swimsuit underneath, just a rash guard and bikini bottoms.  Want to know how I did it?  I wrote out the steps so you could too, in case you are fair skinned like me, but not willing to give up your time in the sun (I do love to be out in the sun around the water)!

union street tee

  1. Cut out your pattern like normal, except cut your pattern so that the sides are one inch narrower in the front and back.  Also, make sure you are using swimsuit fabric, mine is from here.
  2. Cut your front pattern piece out of swimsuit lining fabric, mine is from here.
  3. Grab swimsuit bra padding and zig zag sew them in place.  I held my front pattern piece up to my body and pinned the padding in place, you know, to get them where they are supposed to be.
  4. With a zig zag stitch, sew a piece of swimsuit elastic to the lining on the same side the padding is located, right under the pads from side seam to side seam.  Your elastic should be about 2 inches shorter than the lining piece.  Stretch the elastic as you stitch.
  5. Baste the lining to the front shirt piece.
  6. Now sew the shirt as normal.  When hemming, try on your new rash guard and hem to your desired length.rash guard how toWant to see more Union Street Tees?  Take a look at Crafterhours, where Adrianna will be posting some previews from her friends.  And take a look at Trine’s blog today, Groovy Baby and Mama, she’s bound to have made something great with this pattern!

union street tee

Foxglove Tank

Hi ho, hi ho, a new pattern is out you know!  Okay, it’s summer, I’m feeling a little goofy, and maybe a little excited about this new pattern!  Lauren, from Selvage Design has released her first women’s pattern.  Well, is about to release her first women’s pattern.  And it’s a good one.  An every day wearing kind of good one.  It is available for presale right now at indiesew and will be available for sale on Monday!

foxglove tank

I was fortunate to be able to test this one, and I LOVE it.  Just so you know, when I test a pattern, I get it for free and that is it.  No money, no fabric, just a free pattern and an opportunity to help out an independent pattern designer.  It’s an awfully fun process getting a sneak peek behind the scenes at what it’s like to be the pattern designer.  These independent pattern designers put a lot of work into their products, and it shows.

foxglove tank

Lauren’s pattern, the foxglove tank is awesome!  It has a very flattering racerback style which then flows out to a billowy high low hemline.  I love it!  I’ve made two of these so far and am ready to try lengthening it to a dress!

foxglove tank

The foxglove tank can be sewn in a woven or a knit.  Here you can see my woven version.  It’s a linen fabric cut on the bias.  Well actually it’s former life was a skirt that I found at the thrift store.  You know I love to use thrifted goods for my fabric!

foxglove tank

I’m not lying when I tell you I’ve worn this baby a handful of times, in the past two weeks since I’ve sewn it.  And my knit one (you can see it in my last me made may round up…it’s neon pink) has been worn just as frequently.

foxglove tank

One last thing about this pattern, Lauren offers a class on illustrator called Pattern Workshop.  She is a professional when it comes to creating things in illustrator and it really shows.  Her pattern is really, really professional looking and so easy to navigate through.

Okay that’s it.  I kind of feel like I need to exit with a song since I entered with one.  Hmm…I have nothing for you!  I know you’re all groaning with disappointment!  Happy summer sewing all!